The King Arthur Code
Anyone could have wield xcalibur but it was with Arthur that it became a legend. What did Arthur do? In order to achieve the impossible. That is the question that interests me. I want to know what I can take from that story into my own life.
King Arthur is who pulled sword from stone and became King. These two elements are the main symbols of the story that stand out. Celtic mythology is built upon the force of natural elements. The rock’s force is one of enduring, exemplified by Arthur’s early life growing up away from royalty perks and earning a living by being street-smart. The sword’s force is one of cutting, like water will do to any element over time, demonstrated by Arthur’s decision to separate royalty from tyranny.
When we say that Arthur pulled sword from stone, it is clear now that he stopped enduring what he did not need to endure: the pressure from a tyrant king, and was able to transcend (separate) beyond that pressure by being king of his own reality. Arthur used the power of the sword which has a very close etymology with “word”. Indeed the word is mightier than the s-word, as a well crafted phrase will cut to the most subtle part of anyone’s emotions and mind.
The not so obvious
The key to King Arthur’s story is more commonly repeated across the hero myth than I previously thought. When I came across the research of Jose Luis Parise on ancient initiated cultures, his discovery of common thread across them all made sense. Turns out that all sacred teachings on self development, on becoming a hero, or in other words more than human, are structured within four quadrants. For instance the three main greek gods: Zeus, Poseidon, Hades; the Sacred Trimurti of India: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva; the Yin, Yang, Tao… Where in all of these triadic structures the fourth space is WHO implicates him/her self in being present.
What is practical about J. L. Parise’s research is that he named these stages: Warrior, Trader, King, Hero. The Hero being who inhabits all three previous stages. The sequence being that when one is not stopped by internal obstacles one has achieved the Warrior phase, because the real battle is with one self. Next, one is to overcome external obstacles where the key is to trade with the other instead of changing the other. Once I that inner and outer obstacles do not stop me, I’m tested by the conflict between obstacles, much like a King finds solutions to the conflicts between his people and the neighboring cities. It is only when one is not stopped by inner, outer, inter obstacles, that one can become the obstacle, the challenge to train others interested in self development, becoming the Hero, the protector of that obstacle.
The never obvious
The reason it worked for Arthur, and the way it could work for anyone who is interested in his/her own epic self development, is that Arthur united both opposites: stone and sword from a third position. Pretty much the same way the Yin-Yang can only be united by the Tao (Way, path, words), and pretty much the same way any two opposites in anyones life are only solved by a third position. For Arthur this third position was becoming King of both tyrants and non tyrants, while his uncle was only king of those who feared him. This is why the sage (Merlin’s apprentice) in the story tells Arthur to pick up the sword with both hands. Meaning that in order to use words wisely one is to consider both opposites.
The Celtic element that represents the King is the tower, because a tower allows one to view everything in 360 degrees at a distance, symbolizing the force of the air. When Arthur decided to be King of all, he used the force of sword and stone, from a tower, and union of these three phases in Arthur produced a fourth position: that of the Hero. Interestingly the etymology of hero is protector, symbolized by the element of fire that protects and at the same time fuses all three previous stages into a fourth one.